The Power of Big Idea Thinking: Think Smarter, Faster, Create Value– Driving Imagination Beyond Abstraction…

The Big Idea is the only thing with the ability to attract enough people around a new concept when real change is needed in an organization… ~Winfried Schoepf– Big ideas guide us to put our brain to work… ~Rodrigo Borgia– The big idea is of little importance without effective implementation.. you can have the biggest idea in the world but if you don’t make it personal… the idea will go nowhere...~ Matt Crichton

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A Big Idea is a way of seeing connections, not just another piece of knowledge… A true idea doesn’t end thought, it activates it. It has the power to raise questions and generate learning… That little extra makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary.

According to Grant Wiggins; a big idea is a way of seeing better and working smarter, not just a vague notion or another piece of knowledge. It is more like a lens for looking; more like a theme than the details of a narrative; more like an active strategy than a specific skill. It is a theory, not a detail. When an idea is ‘big’ it helps us make sense of things, and when an idea is not ‘big’ it merely categorizes a lot of content, e.g., change, relationships, global… certainly these encompass an enormous amount of knowledge and understanding, but these concepts don’t contain much insight or direction beyond their definition…

In short: Think of ‘big’ as ‘powerful’; not a large abstract category. It’s a ‘powerful idea’ vs. ‘mere abstraction’. The ‘idea’ is the easy part, but the real test of visionary leadership is the execution of an idea and its impact on business…

According to Seth Godin; ideas are easy, doing stuff is hard, and the more often you create and share ideas, the better you get at it. The process of manipulating and ultimately spreading ideas improves both the quality and the quantity of what you create… History is littered with inventors who had ‘great’ ideas, but kept them quiet and then poorly executed them. Also, history is lit up with do-ers who took ideas that were floating around in the ether and actually made something happen. In fact, just about every successful venture is based on an unoriginal idea, beautifully executed. So, if you’ve got ideas, let them go…

The big idea can be game-changing, and it means taking risks, bucking trends, and making innovation the priority– and, all while keeping your team fully engaged…

In the article Why Your Business Needs a Big Idea by Carmine Gallo writes: As business focus on simply surviving; what’s lost is the Big Idea. Your business needs a moon shot goal that will fuel its journey for the next decade and inspire your employees, your partners, and you. In my work, I hear plenty of small goals for the next year– but few moon shots, e.g., ‘we hope to avoid layoffs’ is not a moon shot.

Face it: A goal to increase sales by 2% next year isn’t going to inspire your team. Your employees want to know how you’re going to change the world. A big idea has a better chance of becoming relevant if it contains three components when articulated to its intended audience, namely; boldness, specificity, and consistency:

  • A big idea is bold: Great visions inspire: I do believe there is such a thing as dreaming the dream of a grand vision… Great entrepreneurs are focused on today, but the most innovative have a road map of where they will be tomorrow.
  • A big idea is specific: President Kennedy set a deadline to reach the moon, which contributed a lot to its success. An ambiguous idea such as becoming the ‘best-of-breed solution provider’ means very little. It’s not inspiring. Nor does it give employees a specific goal to reach.
  • A big idea is consistent: A big idea that’s not communicated consistently and frequently stands little chance of sparking action in others…

In the article Big Idea by Michael Masterson writes:  You will never win fame and fortune unless you invent a Big Idea. It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a Big Idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. Big ideas come from the unconscious: This is true– in art, science, and advertising… But the unconscious has to be well-informed, or the idea will be irrelevant. Stuff your conscious mind with information, then un-hook your rational thought process…

But, how do you recognize the Big Idea: Just ask yourself these five questions: Did it make me gasp when I first saw/heard it? Do I wish I had thought of it myself? Is it unique? Does it fit the strategy to perfection? Could it be used for many years? A big idea is instantly comprehended as; important, exciting, beneficial, and will last for a long time. That is a mouthful, so let’s break it down:

  • Big idea is important: Important to the customer
  • Big idea is exciting: Exciting to the customer
  • Big idea is beneficial: Benefiting to the customer.
  • Big idea leads to an inevitable conclusion: The big idea must be fundamentally simple: Easy to grasp, easy to see how it solves problems or delivers on stated promises…

In the article Big Ideas, Trends, Predictions–2013 by David Mielach writes: Media outlet ‘BusinessNewsDaily’ asked business owners, entrepreneurs, experts… to predict the most popular ‘Big’ trends in 2013. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Companies will focus on being remarkable: Becoming  remarkable has never been as important! It’s more important than ever for business to intensely focus on what it is that they are better at than any other competitor…
  • Crowdfund investing will grow: There is nothing bigger for some business than the ability to raise capital via crowdfunding; crowdfund investing will be an important option for entrepreneurs seeking to tap into new sources of capital to fund their business venture…
  • Mobile video consumption will continue to explode: It will surpass 50% of all mobile traffic. Those looking to develop their mobile presence, without having a mobile video strategy, will lose customers and market share…
  • Use of sensors will grow: Expect to see third-party payers and health care systems moving more aggressively to improve outcomes through the use of technology, such as; electronic monitored packaging, microchips embedded in pills, wearable sensors…
  • Social media will continue its evolution: Social media must have a two-way conversation tool with customers. Using three  important things: Listen before you speak… Understand what customers are saying about you… Develop relevant types of conversations that appeal to customers…
  • Content marketing will grow: Content marketing will rise to be the primary emphasis for brands wishing to increase; awareness, engagement, drive traffic… Move past the infographic fad to an era of truly entertaining and useful content.
  • Mobile shopping gets optimized: It’s now a business necessity for business retailers to provide mobile shoppers with an optimized mobile store that meets their unique shopping needs…
  • Personalization will grow: Technology converges to allow fast, inexpensive and convenient personalization of almost anything… allowing consumers to express themselves and their  individuality in ways never thought possible before…
  • Mobile-centric products will increase: Tech companies are realizing that mobile-centric products are not just an after-thought, but a necessity… we’ll see more technology companies opting for mobile business models. Some may even see the traditional Web as unnecessary.
  • Social media needs to show ROI: KPI (Key Performance Metrics) are most important: Everyone wants to know how  their campaigns are helping contribute to the company’s bottom line. Activity is not enough– its business outcomes that count.
  • Big data injects information science into relationship selling: While many companies leverage internal data to aid their selling efforts, companies will take it to the next level by  combining internal data with external data to make stronger predictions about which customers and prospects are most likely to buy, why, how much…

A Big Idea is formulated in a person’s imagination-mind; and, the human imagination is one of the world’s greatest forces. All of our world’s greatest achievements were once just thoughts-ideas in the mind of a person who dared to dream…

According to Ed Mylett; creative imagination is the first step to action… when we are creatively imagining something, we are actually causing it to come alive. However, deep in our consciousness lies the force of ‘conformity’, i.e., do it as it’s always been done... The person caught in this destructive cycle never does anything– Big or worthwhile… Some say that the opposite of bravery is not cowardice; but ‘conformity’…

According to ‘pakhandipandit’; mediocrity is one of the biggest hurdles… the problem is not that– ‘we aim too high and miss, but we aim too low and hit’… The problem is when we say some thing is– ‘big’, ‘unachievable’, ‘impossible’… we make our minds believe that we our incapable of doing those things, and thus we never do…

Fear of failure is another reason which stops us from thinking Big. When we think about something really ‘worthy and difficult’ to achieve, we quickly come to conclusion that we will ‘fail’… But, this should not be where the story ends, for example; ‘fail is not failure, until you quit’. The reason for not reaching goals is not that we make an attempt for something near-to-impossible and fail, but the reason is we failed because we ‘quit’– without trying it again for the second, third, forth… time.

I am saying that when you dream ‘Big’ you get an internal force which pushes you to make that first small step, which is usually the most difficult one– then, it’s a matter of persistence… The option is clear: Big Idea Thinking means: Be phenomenal or Be forgotten!